On 09/03/2017, North Korea said it conducted its largest nuclear test so far. In a televised statement, North Korea described the underground explosion a “perfect success in the test of a hydrogen bomb for an ICBM.” Pyongyang said “the creditability of the operation of the nuclear warhead is fully guaranteed.”
Kim Young-woo, a South Korean lawmaker who is chairman of the legislature’s defense committee, and who was briefed by his military, said that the latest nuclear test was estimated to have a yield of as high as 100 kilotons—about 10 times the power of the North’s previous test.
After a 90-minute emergency meeting of the National Security Council, South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said that Seoul would consider the possible deployment of what he described as the “most powerful strategic assets that the U.S. possesses”. The term “strategic assets” means the use of stealth bombers, aircraft carriers or possibly nuclear weapons.
How big a threat is this to the safety of the US? Analysts have been divided on whether North Korea could shrink a nuclear warhead to fit on the tip of a missile. Many also remain skeptical about whether a North Korean warhead can survive the strain of re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
However, in an earlier statement on 09/03/2017, North Korea claimed it had already mastered the ability to mount a hydrogen bomb atop a long-range missile.
Mr. Kim was quoted as saying that all of the components of its hydrogen bomb were homemade, insulating the nuclear-weapons program from sanctions and “enabling the country to produce powerful nuclear weapons, as many as it wants.” The bomb’s explosive power has a range up to hundreds of kilotons, the North Korean report said.
This new nuclear test comes after the US president’s warning that “fire and fury” would befallNorth Koreaif it continued to threaten the US.
President Trump’s warning appeared to have deterred Kim Jong Un from following through on his plan to fire missiles near Guam, a strategic US military base.
But then on 08/26, North Korea conducted its most provocative ballistic missile test to date. The missile flew over one of Japan’s northern islands and landed in the sea, flying a total distance of nearly 1,700 miles.
On Sunday morning, 09/03/2017, President Trumpresponded to the nuclear test by blaming it on the South Korean government, saying that Seoul’s policy of “appeasement” has failed. “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”Trump tweeted.
Moon, who was elected in May as the South Korean president, has cautioned against threatening a pre-emptive attack against North Korea and insisted thatSouth Korea, which would almost certainly bear the brunt of a response, would have to be consulted before major military action.
President Trump also lashed out at China, sayingNorth Koreahas become a “great threat and embarrassment” to Beijing.
The US pundits and diplomats have been unable to grasp the fact that China’s government is no friend of the Unites States because they are a communist state. They are against all democracies, and the US is the most powerful one in the world, therefore, the Chinese have no reason to help the US.
Additionally, the Chinese don’t want to see North Korea fail because:
These facts clearly explain why the Chinese government is not going to help the US reign in North Korea. Because the Chinese are ideologically opposed to the US, it is logical to assume that they desire the North Koreans to continue to be a thorn in the side of the US, South Korea and Japan.
In response to North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on 09/03/2017, that he’s drafting new economic sanctions against North Korea for President Donald Trump to consider.
“It’s clear this behavior is completely unacceptable,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’ve already started with sanctions against North Korea, but I am going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us.”
The most strategic and powerful sanctions the US could impose would be against China, to force them to stop funding the North Korean economy. Is President Trump considering the option to cut off all trade with China in order to force them to bring down North Korea?
The biggest impact of this strategy would be a global economic meltdown. The loss of trade with the U.S. would send the value of China’s currency into freefall. This would force China to sell off its massive amount of dollar-denominated U.S. Treasury securities. As a result, yields on U.S. government debt would spike.
A massive dollar shortage in China would restrict China’s ability to import oil, which is traded in dollars, and increase pressure to move away from the dollar as the international currency standard.
If that happened, U.S. Treasury yields and interest rates would spike, causing drastic increases in interest rates on everything from mortgages to auto loans.
This would force many American consumers into bankruptcy, because they could no longer afford the interest payments on their credit cards, auto loans and home mortgages.
The U.S. government’s interest payments on the $19.8 trillion in national debt would rise dramatically, creating the possibility of a default on their loan payments, which would cause massive worldwide economic disruption and the collapse of the U.S. dollar.
China would presumably cut off trade with the U.S. in retaliation, or simply because they wouldn’t have any dollars to buy U.S. products.
That would result in widespread shortages of the vast array of consumer goods made in China. Wal-Mart’s shelves would be mostly empty. The retail sector to be hit hard with massive job losses and business closures.
China is also America’s third largest export market. U.S. exports to China were $113 billion last year. All U.S. companies reliant on China exports would be forced to either lay off most of their employees or go into bankruptcy.
Because of the huge, world-wide economic meltdown that would ensue by cutting off trade with China, this is not a viable option for the U.S.
The US government will eventually be forced to act militarily because of three statements made by the North Korean dictator.
The Trump administration is taking these threats seriously. Kim Jong Un has given the US government every reason to believe that his military will continue advancing its nuclear ICBM missile technology regardless of diplomacy, sanctions or regime change.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis threatened North Korea on Sunday, saying the U.S. will answer any threat from the North with a “massive military response—a response both effective and overwhelming.”
Because of Kim Jong Un’s threats to the US and his recent behavior, when the Pentagon believes that the North Korean dictator is capable of striking major cities in the United States with a nuclear ICBM, or capable of detonating a nuclear warhead at a high altitude above the US, they will recommend to the White house that the US military must take out the North Korean’s nuclear capability by force.
Robert Steven Ingebo, is president of FRI CorporationCommenting Policy
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